The Scoop on Podcasting and Videocasting

A double length panel of speakers this morning covered the gamut of experiences in doing podcasting and videocasting. While you might think it’s so easy to just capture a digital recording, Greg Schwartz stressed that podcasting is not a one-time deal. It takes time to plan, record, edit, publish, and promote. “Going full bore is a real commitment,” he said.

Here are some of his suggestions of what to podcast:
• Programming (get permission!)
• Events and news
• Bibliographic instruction
• Services for visually impaired
• Staff training/communications

Here are his “9 easy steps”:
1. Determine content and format
2. Assemble equipment and people
3. Record
4. Edit and export to mp3
5. Listen
6. Upload file to server
7. Generate your RSS feed (like through Feedburner)
8. Publish feed URL
9. Promote, respond to feedback (start conversations!), repeat…

Jeff Humphrey is the video person for INCOLSA. A big part of his mission is training and staff education. He said video podcasting was a natural progression of existing services (which started with videotape and satellite dish). His production tips include: have a reason to include video, invest in a good microphone, frame shots properly, enhance your production with graphics, and have fun.

Dave Free is at the GPC Decatur Library, one of the first libraries to produce library news podcasts. He suggested using an internal media server. He feels the return on investment has been good, based on downloads. Audacity is free software for working with podcasts—definitely recommended. H recommends FeedBurner for feeds – it’s also free and provides good stats.

Here’s his list of lessons learned:
• Make sure it feeds!
• Promote – then promote some more
• Keep it short. (You can’t skim a podcast so don’t do 20 to 30 minutes—he tries not to exceed 10 minutes.)
• Use music sparingly! (and make sure you have license or permission and give credit)
• Multiple voices rock. Interviews are good.
• Podcast events (get permission, use a release)
• Consider your Web presence
• Listen to your listeners

Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief
Information Today, Inc.

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